The BBC’s Jewish Problem Isn’t Going Away

Last year, a group of men surrounded a parked bus carrying Jewish teenagers, banged on the windows, yelled anti-Semitic epithets and threats, made Nazi salutes and obscene gestures, and then chased after it when it began to pull away. The BBC, reporting on the incident, stated that the teenagers had shouted an anti-Muslim slur, or “racial slurs,” at the attackers—although the video of the incident and the subsequent police report make clear no such slurs were uttered. But worse than the falsehood, writes Stephen Pollard, was the network’s unwillingness to admit to it:

Two months later, on January 26, the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit reported [on the coverage of the story]. It, too, refused to concede that the slur was a fiction, but said that “more could have been done” to “acknowledge the differing views . . . on what was said.” Except that the only “differing views” were of what happened and did not happen.

All organizations make mistakes. What matters is how they are corrected. But consistently, the BBC behaves as if it is beyond reproach, as if only those with an agenda or animus against it could possibly find fault. In this case, the BBC’s dogmatic refusal to accept any responsibility, led it to treat the Jewish community itself with contempt, loftily dismissing the pleadings of the chief rabbi and the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, among others, for it to consult evidence and act accordingly.

In response to repeated complaints, Ofcom—the UK’s equivalent of the FCC—conducted an investigation which resulted in the recent release of a damning report. But not much seems to be changing at Britain’s state-sponsored network. Jonathan Sacerdoti notes some all-too-typical examples:

The BBC has broadcast folksongs that glorify attacks on Jews and call for bloodshed. . . . One of the songs, aired on its Arabic language service—which has 36 million viewers—is addressed to Palestinian militants. As translated by the media watchdog Camera Arabic, the song says: “The force in your hand is your right. Don’t leave your weapon in its sheath. . . . From the Jerusalem mountains and from the plain, your blood, should it be shed on the earth, would make red freedom bloom.”

In [another] case, the broadcaster took twelve months to accept an error in a report about holy sites in Jerusalem. Although the BBC acknowledged it, the mistake remains online more than two months later, and is still in place.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Anglo-Jewry, Anti-Semitism, BBC


Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria